Almost 30 years ago, Frank Parker came to visit 5007 Junius St., his childhood home, on Christmas Day. The then-owners, Susan and James Wren, weren’t there, so Parker sat on the front porch of the Prairie-style house for a bit, then left. He returned a week later to introduce himself and get a tour of the property. As the Wrens showed him around, they swapped stories and reminisced, becoming fast friends. When Parker turned 90 in 1996, he sent them an invitation to his birthday party at Park Cities Baptist Church’s Ellis Parlor.
Although the home’s ownership has changed hands in the decades since, the memory of their friendship lives on. In a black box of deeds and other important documents of the property’s history, the Wrens saved Parker’s long-ago birthday invite.
Parker’s parents bought the house right after it was built in 1911, just a few years after the Munger Place neighborhood was established. In the 111 years since, only four families have called the place home (Parker’s own family lived there until 1951). “That’s a pretty amazing stat,” listing agent Missy Kennedy Robinson says.
Each of the house’s owners have lovingly maintained its history, Robinson says, but the property was in rough shape when the current owners bought it in 2019. At the time, the home still used radiators for heating. “It was basically a tear down, but they saw a lot of potential in the house,” she says.
The owners got to work with Travis Ripley of Ripley Renovations to take the property to the studs. “All the inners are new,” Robinson says. They insulated the house, added HVAC systems upstairs and down, and redid the kitchen and bathrooms. The owners also installed all new electrical, plumbing, ductwork, and sheetrock.
However, despite all the changes, “they were very adamant about keeping the original architecture of the home,” Robinson says.
Much of the home’s original details remain, including the windows, transom windows, and diamond muntin motifs. “All the molding in the home is original,” as are the pine hardwood floors, Robinson says. The owners were able to keep pretty much all the original doors, including the screen and front doors, as well as the hardware. The result is a fabulously preserved historic jewel with all the creature comforts of the modern era.
“It’s really a wonderful house, because it’s got all the conveniences of the kitchen, the bathrooms, and everything’s been updated,” Robinson says. “But they kept the charm, the character, and the story to the house intact.”
Scroll through the gallery to learn more about the home.
Catherine Wendlandt is the online associate editor for D Magazine’s Living and Home and Garden blogs, where she covers all…